Senate and House budget writers will meet Friday to start negotiating a final version of the state’s next two year budget.
Typically, the full house would vote on whether to enter budget negotiations with the senate. But Republican house leadership decided to make that decision on its own Tuesday, without input from the rest of the chamber.
Some libertarian-leaning Republicans who helped reject the House budget in April aren’t happy – both with the process and with the fact that no members of the so-called House Freedom Caucus were named to the negotiating committee.
Rep. J.R. Hoell of Dunbarton said in a written statement Wednesday that this decision sends the message that House leadership is "only interested in more of the same. This is short-sighted at best."
But Majority Leader Dick Hinch says the decision came down to who has the most experience on budget matters. And Hinch says that’s members on House Finance.
“The Committee of Conference is more than appeasing an individual – the Committee of Conference does a lot of very in-depth work and understanding all the intricacies of the different lines,” Hinch said.
Senate members sitting on the committee were also all from Finance.
A negotiated budget plan must be drafted by next Thursday and then voted on by both chambers the following week.